I currently provide a number of face to face workshops and talks to groups during the year. (I am happy to consider talks via virtual platforms such as Zoom.) Although I can often book a week day in advance, Fridays and weekends are preferable for workshops due to my current employment.

Below are some workshop options and I am happy to discuss more bespoke wishes of a group.

Natural Selection

(2 Day workshop, intermediate level, free-motion sewing) 

Textured backgrounds and prints are created using hedgerow or garden plants and other printable objects such as feathers. You will build a collection from which to edit and build a composition in the form of a small collage or a wall hanging.
We will look at focal elements and explore layering, machine and hand stitching techniques to add emphasis and complexity to your prints and use free machine stitching to employ a ‘stitch and tear’ technique using teabag paper to develop motifs. The workshop is designed to allow students to work in their own individual style using the techniques.

Rachael is a really clear teacher. The workshop was very well-organised. I thoroughly enjoyed myself, and only wished it was longer, thank you! (Student, West Yorkshire)

Student work, with kind permission

Objects of Attention

(1 Day Workshop, suitable for any level, no sewing) 

Bring along a few objects that you consider treasures or interesting in some way. These might be vintage items or natural objects which have interesting forms and patterns. Using close observation of surface, form and pattern you will create a set of thin papers and tissues which will be painted, printed and marked using various paints and inks.  You will construct a simple house-shaped display form, onto which you will layer your papers. These can be further worked into with text or stamps if wished. A small shelf will contain your object of attention. The items can be wall-mounted or rested on an shelf.

“Thoroughly enjoyed the day, it felt playful and relaxed and your timings were wonderful. I have learnt a lot, thank you.’ (Student – Manchester)

Unfolding Ferneries

(2 day workshop, intermediate level, free-motion sewing)

We will use gathered ferns and variety of fabrics and papers to form a scroll. This may be pieced on fabric or paper according to preference.  Text, letter stamps and lines of poetry  will be used to compliment the images, and you will be encouraged to move from Spring to Autumn colours as you work to tell the story of a fern.  You will use free machine stitching to employ a ‘stitch and tear’ technique using teabag paper to develop motifs.  Hand or machine stitching will be used to embellish and add further interest and texture.   Students will have spare prints which may be used for other small works to accompany the unfolding fernery if time allows.

(1 day workshop, beginner to intermediate, free-motion or hand-stitch) As above, but completed as a smaller, simple paper scroll with the likelihood that stitching will be completed at home following the workshop.

Sea and Stone

(1 Day Workshop, suitable for any level)

There is an option for this workshop to be based on either paper collage or fabric-printing and hand-stitch or free-motion sewing).

Fabric stacks: You will learn how to create successful pebble shapes using potatoes that will serve as print blocks for acrylic paint. Prints will be arranged into a stack (you are likely to create a few to choose from). Once dry, hand or machine-stitch techniques will be explored to enhance and develop stone texture and marks.

Paper collage: Pebbles will be created separately out of a variety of papers and card. You will learn layering and textural techniques to create detail. Pebbles can be can be arranged in a small stack, mounted flat or standing proud from the surface to cast a shadow if working on paper. They could also be arranged into a small zig-zag book if wished.

Busy Bodies

(1 day workshop, suitable for any level, hand-stitch, straight machining for body shape)

Create your own keeper of memories that can be ‘sketched’ onto with hand-stitching and embellishments. Busy Bodies are designed to allow gentle stitching over time to build marks, patches, stitching or words that clothe a primitive doll form in personal memory. You might like to focus on a walk, a holiday, a family member, or gift one for a special occasion. We will explore templates and different body forms before sewing and stuffing in the morning. In the afternoon, you will think about ways to represent thoughts in stitch and begin a memory or two…

These two eco-dyed Busy Bodies are about the joy of local walks following lockdown in the pandemic which is when I created the idea to support wellbeing.